Resisting the pull of cynicism since 1969.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Essay question: Pick your government

When we cast our votes on election day, we don't get a chance to specify what kind of government we want, though many Canadians wish they could.

This is your chance, then, to do that. In the comments, rank the four possible outcomes (Liberal majority, Liberal minority, Conservative majority, Conservative minority) in order of your preference. You can specify your reasoning, too, if you want. Bonus points for rank-ordering your chosen opposition parties as well.

Anonymous comments are allowed.

Edited to add: I tried to do this exercise myself and leave a comment, but the whole ordeal just left me too depressed. The only possible outcome that I can work up any enthusiasm for at all is a slim Conservative minority with the NDP holding the balance of power, and even that is hardly the outcome I'd favour under any other circumstances. Not to mention the fact that with polls like the ones we've been seeing lately, that possibility is starting to look extremely unlikely. The Liberals really, really shouldn't win this election, and yet I'd find even a Liberal majority preferable to a Conservative majority, which we seem to be standing on the cusp of. Seeing things vascillate between the least worst option and the worst worst option is starting to make me want to hide under my bed and cry. Anybody else feeling this way?


Anonymous said...

1. Conservative minority
2. Liberal minority
3. Liberal majority
4. Conservative majority

Rationale: The Libs need to be spanked, and hard, but a Conservative majority would still be the worst possible outcome.

Anonymous said...

1. Conservative minority, NDP balance.
1. Conservative majority
3. Liberal minority, Conservative balance.
4. Liberal minority, NDP balance.
5. Liberal majority.

No more Liberal majorities.

Anonymous said...

1. Conservative minority, where [NDP + Con] ("ethics changes" votes) forms a majority, but [Cons. SoCons + Lib SoCons] does not.

2. As above, but the nominal SoCons have technical majorities (under the hope that LIB whips keep their SoCons out of bad policy). Not as good as the above, but ethics/openness/power-split reforms become more likely.

3. NDP minority. Highly unlikely, but still. If the Libs and Cons keep escalating against each other, its possible that people might go somewhere other than Kang or Kodos...

4. Conservative majority, but with the number of Conservative SoCons below majority levels

Infinity. Liberal anything. Seriously, I'd prefer even the marginally technical possibility of a Bloc minority government, if only for the humour inherent in the result.

Really, unless the conservatives win in a complete and utter blowout, I'd be very surprised if a CON win resulted in major changes (especially in the SoCon sense) this time around. The NDP will still have opportunities to push reforms to the system that reduce the power of majorities -- changes to the makeup of committees, for example, that reduce the unfettered dominance of small majorities -- while the Cons are still thinking of new rules as restrictions against *Liberal* excess.

Further, in the first term they still face a well-stacked Supreme Court that'll likely disallow any extreme SoCon policies.

Anonymous said...

1. Liberal minority
2. Conservative minority
3. Liberal majority
4. Conservative majority

As long as #1 is really, really close, as in the Libs only beat the CPC by 5 seats or something like that.

Favourite government:

It truly is a toss-up whether I would prefer option 1 or option 2 below.

1. Slim Liberal minority government, strong Conservative opposition, NDP a true balance of power, with the Bloc held to 30-40 seats tops. Oh, and at least one Green seat. Approx seat counts: LPC: 114 CPC: 109 NDP: 44 BQ: 40 Green: 1 Yes, I know this is a dream fuelled by flu medications.

2. Total Liberal Breakdown: Conservative minority government, strong NDP opposition, BQ and Libs sharing balance of power, with a couple of Green seats. Approx seat counts: CPC: 145 NDP: 73 LPC: 40 BQ: 48 Green: 2 Another dream fuelled by flu medication.

At the moment, I don't favour any majority government at all.

Glyn (Zaphod) Evans said...

1. Liberal minority
2. Conservative minority
3. Liberal majority
4. Conservative majority

I really like the accountability provided with the minority government. It helps keep the ruling party honest in my opinion, and the NDP make a great middle point for mediation :D

Anonymous said...

If the Liberals can stop digging themselves in deeper, we'll get a Conservative minority. They're too far back to recover, but the strength of the Bloc in Quebec makes it almost impossible for the Conservatives to get a majority (they need two-thirds of the seats in English Canada).

Anyway. Preferences are:

1. NDP Minority (I know, I know)
2. Conservative Minority
3. Liberal Minority
4. Conservative Majority
5. Liberal Majority

The main up-side to a Conservative Majority is that I think it will do a lot less than people think--the Conservatives will have so many scandals and problems that they'll have a hard time making effective changes.

Anonymous said...

1. Conservative minority
2. Conservative majority
3. Liberal minority
4. Liberal majority

And this from a card-carrying member of the liberal party. My #1 choice would be a liberal majority if we're talking about the Liberals of old.

I've heard an anology comparing the current incarnation of the liberals to the Montreal Canadiens after they traded Patrick Roy. Amazing dynasty that got obliterated... but have a chance to recover with fresh faces and new talent.

parodie said...

1. Conservative minority
2. Liberal minority
3. Liberal majority
4. Conservative majority

I think that the longer the Liberals are in power, the stronger the Conservative argument that we need a change become. Ergo, the ideal arrangement is a Conservative minority, where the Conservatives can piss us all off and remind us why we don't like them, before they gather enough steam to get a majority. I don't even mind if the Liberals hold the balance of power, instead of the NDP.

Q. Pheevr said...

You said "possible outcomes," but then you listed only the four plausible outcomes--a list that doesn't include my top two choices among the (mathematically, if not politically) possible ones. So here's what I'd really like to see, with departures into sheer fantasy marked by italics:

1. NDP majority, with the Liberals and the Bloc tied for second place. The Greens gain official party status, and the Rebranded Reform Party falls back to where the Progressive Conservatives were after the 1993 election. Martin and Duceppe move into Stornoway together, and find themselves in what amounts to a Canadian remake of "The Odd Couple." (Sheila Copps volunteers to direct.) The Layton government retcons its surprise victory by implementing proportional representation retroactively. A portrait of Ed Broadbent mysteriously appears in the Centre Block.


2. The Conservatives win a small majority, but before Parliament reconvenes, Stephen Harper is arrested for some terribly embarrassing crime or else is revealed to be a cyborg. At an emergency leadership convention, David Orchard is chosen on the first ballot. The ghost of Dalton Camp becomes deputy PM, and the Conservatives add the word Progressive back to their name.

Idealistic Pragmatist said...


That comment is a work of art.

Anonymous said...

1. C Majority

None of the others are acceptable:

A C Minority cannot work - there is no one to ally with.
A L Minority puts us right back where we just came from
A L Majority would be an admission that we are too stupid to breath without help

freshly_squeezed said...

1. Liberal minority
2. Liberal majority
3. Conservative minority
547. Conservative majority

Red Jenny said...

Liberal minority
Conservative minority
Liberal majority
Conservative majority

Not that I like the libs (more like Conservative-lite), but I'm terrified of a Conservative majority.

Anonymous said...

Liberal minority
Ranked opposition parties:
1. NDP
2. Bloc
3. Green, or Marxist Leninist, or Communist, or Progressive Canadian, or Marijuana, or Rhinoceros, or basically anything.
4. Satan himself
5. Those damned Conservatives